News Room

Big box retailer S&R on lessons gained from operating in pandemic

With food and other household items on steady or even increasing demand as the public continues to spend most of their time at home, big box supermarket retailer S&R Membership Shopping (S&R) is riding the pandemic on a positive note.


According to S&R president Anthony Sy, the year has brought the company to re-examine its operations while also realizing the returns of investing in strategic locations that ensured the constant flow of people who buy their goods. “Location has always been a main priority for us when picking a new spot for our branches. This year, we discovered how this factor really makes a difference in any business’s operational success,” he shares.


With three of its branches located in Ayala Land Inc.’s (ALI) master-planned estates in Bonifacio Global City, Nuvali, and Circuit Makati, S&R was able to capture key markets that saw value in their product offers and security in their spacious aisles in an era of face masks, face shields, and social distancing. Being at the center of integrated live-work-play developments also meant serving not only families living in the residential units or lots, but also office workers and other visitors who frequent ALI’s developments.


As Colliers shared in their most recent report, supermarket retailers like S&R will receive the bulk of the public’s spending capacity as individuals and families focus on buying medicines, groceries, and food and beverage over other items or luxuries. With this expected economic pattern prevailing until next year, S&R can expect constant product demand and foot traffic from their stores’ strategic placements.


Ayala Land Estates assistant vice president Cris Zuluaga notes how S&R’s presence in ALI estates enhances the livability and convenience for their buyers. Having a big box store affords residents, visitors, and workers in the area a reliable stop for all their groceries and home essentials and thus increases the value of being located in an ALI property. “To us at ALI, our partnership at S&R is one that mostly benefits the public because we are able to provide a true integrated lifestyle experience that accounts for their every need especially at a time when convenience and accessibility are big considerations for many,” Zuluaga stresses.


S&R’s footprint of stores with ALI also aligns with the expected next phase of development arising from the pandemic, as observed by Leechiu Property Consultants. According to the firm, there will be a surge in movement of people and businesses from Manila to the periphery, in light of density issues brought to fore by COVID-19. With S&R already positioned in one of these new growth areas — Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna — the retailer can expect increased value for its ALI investment in the years to come.


Dubbing real estate as a “store of value”, Leechiu Property Consultants views commercial investments especially in upcoming growth centers as a foothold in long-term growth especially in rising urbanized locales. From this, Zuluaga adds, “Our mixed-use properties outside of the metro such as Altaraza, Vermosa, Nuvali, and Alviera all offer exciting new possibilities for locators who want to be first on this next phase of development. We maintain that real estate is still the best investment even at this time, especially when considering the capital appreciation expected from the uptake of live-work-play properties in each area.”


For S&R, their partnership with ALI is one they see unfolding continuously over time especially after seeing first-hand the upside of being part of master-planned developments. “The benefit of working in a master-planned community is that you can set your expectations based on the development proceeding as planned. This typically works out to be in the best interest of all businesses. A well thought out plan and an organized community tends to generate more traffic and interest from the public,” Sy says.



Ayala Land is the Philippines’ leading developer of sustainable estates, offering a diverse mix of properties such as residential, retail, office, hotels, and leisure developments, that support local economic growth and nation-building.


The company was established in 1988 as the real estate arm of Ayala Corporation, a pioneer conglomerate and builder of the country’s premier financial and commercial district, now known as Makati Central Business District and Ayala Center. 


Today, Ayala Land has a total of 29 sustainable estates and is present in 57 growth areas nationwide. It has five residential brands, namely Ayala Land Premier, Alveo, Avida, Amaia, and BellaVita, which deliver quality homes to a broad segment of the housing market. Its commercial development and leasing portfolio are comprised of Ayala Malls, Ayala Land Offices, and Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts Corporation.